Soldiers Saved Under Mortar Fire

Real-world accounts from those who survived harm’s way

mortarfire.gif

April 25, 2007: The convoy of Humvees was pushing through Paktia Province in eastern Afghanistan, when hostile forces detonated a roadside bomb. Five soldiers from 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team were wounded and 19-year-old medic Spc. Monica Lin Brown proceeded under fire with courage and expertise to do as she was trained. Brown was subsequently awarded the Silver Star for her actions, only the second female since World War II to receive this commendation.

“We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag,” Brown recalls. The disabled vehicle began to burn and all five soldiers were trying to get out of the Humvee, when the convoy started taking small arms fire. “I assessed the patients to see how bad they were. We tried to move them to a safer location because we were still receiving incoming fire,” she adds. “I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there.”

Mortars rounds were falling less than 100 yards away, as Brown used her body to shield the wounded soldiers. “So we dragged them for 100 or 200 meters, got them away from the Humvee a little bit. I was in a kind of robot-mode—did not think [about] much but getting the guys taken care of.” Eventually, a helicopter arrived for evac. Thanks in large measure to Spc. Brown’s efficiency and courage, the chopper had survivors to take home.